Whether you are initiating your first user conference, or are a seasoned veteran putting on the next in a long line of events, the technology you choose is essential to your ability to put on an operationally efficient and effective user conference.
In order to choose the right conference management technology platform to enable your organization to deliver the ultimate attendee experience that builds customer loyalty, solidifies market position, drives new sales, and remains relevant at any scale, you will first need to consider the stage and goals of your conference.
Just taking off? Deploy the basics.
If you are in start-up mode or the early stages of the growth cycle, the technological basics should be enough for you to host a successful event that delivers relevant information and value to your attendees.
Choose management technology based on its ability to ensure fluid registration and event check-in processes. The registration process will set the tone for your attendees’ perception of the entire event. The event check-in will be your attendees’ first interaction with your on-site event. Utilizing technology to help facilitate check-ins will not only eliminate long lines, but allow organizers to track the flow of check-ins, receive alerts when key attendees arrive, and let event staff efficiently respond to attendee questions. Today you can find mobile apps that sync with your event management platform to put the check-in process in the palm of your hands. Give your staff an iPad and they’re ready to start checking in your guests!
Branded email communications and event websites, coupled with event mobile access, will enhance your attendee experience and engagement. Communicate with your event audience before, during, and after the event through an easy to use, targeted, and consistently branded email communication system that offers deliverability, CAN-SPAM compliance, and scalability. Utilize a mobile app to integrate with your event management platform in an easy, low-cost solution to provide the mobile access to your event your attendees will be expecting.
Measuring and understanding your event will happen through post event reporting and attendee session ratings. Considering the sizable investment and strategic importance of your conference, you will want access to real-time insights into these key measurements of success. Measures should be quantitative and qualitative reflecting the overall value of the conference to the organization and its stakeholders.
Session ratings allow you to not only track which sessions attendees have chosen to attend, but the quality of each session. Your attendees can provide the feedback necessary to ensure the continued relevance of your speakers and the content they deliver.
Finally, your infrastructure at this stage needs to support a PCI-compliant payment processing procedure to deal with the ability to safeguard customer, prospect, and sponsor information as the significant financial transactions occur.
Are you flying steady? It’s time to enhance your conference experience.
As your conference matures to over 500 attendees and your goals advance, you will want to adopt more sophisticated technological tools and practices.
Beginning with your planning process, you will want to consider technology that offers operational efficiency through a centralized “hub” from which you can manage all the event’s logistics. Budgeting tools will help you understand and control the various costs related to the event as well as compare year to year spending and benchmark against other events and marketing programs.
Next up, delivering quality content. Your user conference needs quality content or it will fall short of attendee expectations. Automate and streamline the process of collecting speaker and paper submissions through technology that can also assist in thoroughly qualifying speakers and content. You will make it easier to draw a large selection of submissions and then focus on qualifying them for the purpose of delivering great content.
Your user conference needs support and dollars, mostly coming from exhibitors and sponsors. A full-featured exhibitor and sponsor management system will help you deliver on the specific needs of these participants, such as the ability to upload assets, access planning resources, or manage leads.
Now is the time to upgrade your engagement technology with the personalization factor. Personalizing event experiences will guide attendees to the most relevant sessions, content, activities, and meetings. This is done through insights gained during the registration process, as well other attendee engagement and core integration with your marketing automation systems.
Personalization is made possible through session recommendations, one on one appointment scheduling, and giving attendees personalized views of their agendas and relevant content. The personalized experience aids attendees in achieving their events goals while organizers can ensure their messages are being delivered to the right attendees at the right time.
Building professional connections through networking is one of the key goals of user conference attendees. Utilize technology that facilitates self-scheduled appointments to provide additional value through the ability for attendees to create their own connections.
Increase your organization’s measurement and understanding of the event through appointment ratings. This qualitative measurement of one-to-one connections provides valuable insights for lead scoring, follow-up communications, and the overall measurement of the effectiveness of the event.
Finally, upgrade your integration and infrastructure technology through integrating your marketing automation platform with your event management technology. You will have the ability to leverage existing profile activity from your marketing automation platform to personalize the attendee experience, capture relevant data, and turn attendee interactions into measurable and actionable insights for sales and marketing follow up.
Are you ready to seriously elevate your conference to the next level?
If your user conference has elevated to an advanced level of over 1,500 attendees, it is time to take another step in increasing your conference technology.
Fully engage your attendees through personalized event views and matched appointments. Provide each attendee with a personalized view of relevant event information that is pertinent to them. Include personalized agendas, appointment schedules, travel and accommodations, and more.
Utilize matched appointment technology as your conference reaches a large scale. Automatically generate thousands of meaningful and productive meetings based on attendee priorities. Helping people schedule the right appointments ahead of time increases attendee engagement and satisfaction.
Finally, upgrade your infrastructure through supporting multi-language, regional, and currency processes. Expanding your presence into other markets requires your technology to adapt to each market’s language, regional protocols, and financial systems.
Be aware of the range of challenges you will face in running your user conference. From successfully managing logistics, to delivering an engaging experience for diverse attendees and stakeholders, to generating more revenue for your organization, you will need the right, robust event management platform.
By utilizing the proper technology, you will be able to address the full spectrum of event challenges involving planning, management, engagement, measurement, understanding, integration, and infrastructure all resulting in you meeting the high expectations of attendees, partners, and other key stakeholders thus maximizing the potential of your user conference.